The Maids & Deathwatch

The two plays collected in this volume represent Genet s first attempts to analyze the s of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify In The Maids, two domestic workers, deeply resentful of their inferior social position, try to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer When their attempt to betray their mistress s loveThe two plays collected in this volume represent Genet s first attempts to analyze the s of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify In The Maids, two domestic workers, deeply resentful of their inferior social position, try to revenge themselves against society by destroying their employer When their attempt to betray their mistress s lover to the police fails and they are in danger of being found out, they dream of murdering Madame, little aware of the true power behind their darkest fantasy.In Deathwatch, two convicts try to impress a third, who is on the verge of achieving legendary status in criminal circles But neither realizes the lengths to which they will go to gain respect or that, in the end, nothing they can do including murder will get them what they are searching for.
The Maids Deathwatch The two plays collected in this volume represent Genet s first attempts to analyze the s of a bourgeois society he had previously been content simply to vilify In The Maids two domestic workers deep

  • Title: The Maids & Deathwatch
  • Author: Jean Genet Bernard Frechtman Jean-Paul Sartre
  • ISBN: 9780802150561
  • Page: 232
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “The Maids & Deathwatch”

    1. Do you dust, darling? Well, that's not good enough. We're s'posed to be lemmings and praise Genet. Role-playing (The Maids) was hotcha topic in the 50s, how tiresome today. But so is Genet with his queer brawls. Having just seen the $300-a-tic thingie w Blanchett-Huppert, lemme say : see Chabrol's La Ceremonie.

    2. I liked the Deathwatch better than the Maids, but after reading Sartre's introduction (I read it in the end on purpose), I was amazed by Sartre's great mind and his understanding of Genet. Very interesting work. It is my first time to read Genet.

    3. "The Maids" excited me with its phenomenal (submerged) representation of BDSM dyke roleplay and its class critique. Sartre's gender analysis in the introduction, however, can fly a kite. Jean-Paul's examination of self-punishment and consciousness in "The Maids" sparked my interest in brief spurts, only to be undermined entirely by incomprehensible claims about "real" and "unreal" masculinity/femininity in Genet's plays.

    4. The Maids is loosely based on the infamous Paoin sisters who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter, in France (1933), though the play is not the story of the Papin sisters as such. Genet's original intention was that the two maids and Madame, be performed by male actors.کلفت ها، چه در متن، و چه در روابط شخصیت ها، به یک نیایش آیینی در لباس نمایش می ماند. "سولانژ" و "کلر"، دو کلفت خانه، در نقش ی [...]

    5. While their mistress is absent, maids Solange and Claire engage in daily sadomasochistic fantasies in which they enact the death of their employer. However, because these are so stylistically intricate, they fail to ever conclude- or do they? The sisters’ perverse codependence and ability to evoke feelings of hatred, pain, and evil are both disturbing and confusing. While this is not an enjoyable read, it may provide insight to dramatist Genet’s psyche, himself a lifelong criminal who receiv [...]

    6. I'm just not impressed. The Sartre Introduction is long, rambling, and boring. The plays are boring as well. There are a few interesting lines in The Maids, but the plot is silly. Deathwatch makes more sense, but there aren't any specific lines that are notable. For plays driven by dialogue, I'd recommend Cat On a Hot Tin Roof and Glengarry Glen Ross over the two here.

    7. 3 Stars for "The Maids," which is dated, but still makes for interesting and actor-friendly theatre. (I just saw a very good production of it at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green WI.)1 Star for "Deathwatch," which is just tedious, like a bad overly talkative 1930s prison drama.

    8. My first Genet. The Maids is a very compelling two person play about mad sisters who work as servants for a rich woman. They plan on killing her. This was partially based, if I'm not mistaken, on an actual French case where two sisters gruesomely murdered their masters. But this isn't a straightforward femme fatale thriller. Rather its a disorienting psychological study of love and hate, and how the two really are the same. Also about the degeneracy of being a maid, if you think yourself not in [...]

    9. *Disclaimer: I didn't read the edition I'm reviewing, I read The Maids in the Norton Anthology of Drama*I have a mixed reaction to The Maids. It's quite a good play for the type of play that it is, and I can appreciate its metatheatrical qualities and its ideological/philosophical concerns with issues of power, violence, eroticism, and control. But basically it's not the kind of play I particularly enjoy. So while I appreciate the play and Genet's work as important theatrical influences, I would [...]

    10. I don't know why I always subject myself to re-reading "Deathwatch" when I pull this collection off the shelf. It's just awful. It almost feels like a parody of Genet, although he wrote it himself. Meanwhile, "The Maids" is one of my favorite plays of the 20th century. A dizzying ritualization of oppression, Genet's second one-act manages to be both ornate and raw, comedic and cruel. Anyone who's played servant for any length of time will immediately get why the plan to off the mistress is sound [...]

    11. just finished "The Maids" because it was first, but I actually started reading this because of a combination of having just read the Patti Smith bio and "Deathwatch" being the name of a song I like a lot which I am assuming is referencing the second play in this edition. "The Maids" was my first dip into Genet and I'm digging it. update: I don't think Deathwatch the play was what Deathwatch the song was referencing. It also wasn't as good as The Maids. Still, interested to read some of Genet's n [...]

    12. I saw The Maids performed once by the Towson State theater department. I saw them perform an Ionescu play too. & maybe Neil Simon's (?) version of "Awakenings"? A pretty good selection of plays brought to us by Paul (?) Berman (sp?) of sd theater department. Strange to remember b/c I have so little respect for the university or, even more so, the neighborhood in the suburbs of Baltimore. The Maids is a powerful play about the covetousness & vicarious living of people forced into demeaned [...]

    13. Genet is brilliant, what can I say. In these two plays he offers a scathing critique of the bourgeoisie, at the same time as identifying the ways in which we all are shaped by our work, and our working conditions. And the context is whirligig (as Sartre would call it) – criminals and saints, love, desire, murder. If you like Genet and haven’t read these I do recommend (I tend to think Maids is better than Deathwatch, incidentally).

    14. The plays were definitely really good and I would love love love to see them performed, but I think one of the things that amused me most was Sartre's introduction. He was of course an admirer of Genet's work and he and a few influential others kept the man out of jail for the latter part of his life because they said Genet was a genius, but from the introduction it totally seems like Sartre's favourite thing about Genet was that he was gay. So avant-garde and anti-establishment! Oh, Sartre.

    15. Both plays were intense and uncomfortable, presumably as they were meant to be. Both end in death. The constant switching of role playing characters - again, in both plays - is fascinating to read. I'm going to see a performance of The Maids this week with Cate Blanchett and Isabelle Huppert. Should be compelling!

    16. My deepest regret so far in life is that I haven't sat down in an audience to watch a Genet play. "The Maids" is such a classic work from the 50's (?). Also one can't avoid this book in an used bookstore. Every (decent) used bookstore has this title in their Drama section. Get it! Genet is one of the great voices in literature and everything else.

    17. Deathwatch is Genet's first play. But the real gem is The Maids. Its just fascinating -- its metacommentary on role-playing, the imaginary world conjured by the actors, and how the acting subverts these illusions.

    18. fascinating stuff, but who the hell knows what's going on? i should probably read the sartre essay on genet at the front of the book, but i'm anxious to get to part 2 of the "Death of Captain America," so that might have to wait.

    19. I did this play in HS and I was the understudy for all three roles as well as the stage manager. To this day I find many parts of it to understand but I love it for reasons of nostalgia and because the language is poetic and fresh, even now.

    20. A very interesting take on gender roles, and how people mirror each other, draw from each other, change on the energy of each other, and have no real one identity of their own. Great identity plays. Sartre's introduction is very insightful.

    21. A classic - looking at it for Madshag over the weekend, so I revisited it this week. Once upon a time it was my most successful POD project ever.

    22. I love Jean Genet. You have to completely immerse yourself into his world, to get what he's trying to say. So funny too.

    23. Fantastically strange, grotesque characters. Rich, poetic prose. Layered relationships. Wonderful opportunity for any actor or dramatist.

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